England and Manchester City player Lucy Bronze admits she is “shocked, but unfortunately not surprised” at the reports of sexual misconduct and abuse emerging from the NWSL.
In a column written for GiveMeSport, Bronze detailed the extent of the impact these revelations have had on her, other players and women’s football on a global scale.
“When I heard about the sexual misconduct allegations coming from the NWSL, I was shocked, but unfortunately not surprised. You hear about things like that all the time, not necessarily in football, but in all walks of work and life. Most of the time they never really come out, so the players in the NWSL have been incredibly brave to speak up and talk about it."
"Since the allegations were published by The Athletic, everyone here is discussing it. Not just in the Manchester City dressing room, but at all the other WSL teams as well. You kind of take it personally, because it could have happened to you. It could have happened to your best mate that you play on a team with. It could have happened to anyone.”
Though Bronze has never played in the NWSL, her words echo the international sentiment that more must be done to bring transparency and equal treatment to women’s football.
Bronze joins a long list of prominent women’s football stars that have called out the behavior in the NWSL. Alex Morgan called for more transparency after she released screenshots of emails between one player, Sinead Farrelly and former commissioner Lisa Baird from April, asking the NWSL to open a 2015 investigation into Paul Riley. Baird refused the request and gave no further statement.
Baird has since resigned from the position of NWSL commissioner and an investigation into former North Carolina Courage coach Riley has been opened - in addition to other two examinations looking into the league's abuse allegations.
Riley has been banned from the NWSL, as has former Washington Spirit head coach Richie Burke, who was accused of toxic and volatile behavior during his tenure at the club.